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uncompensated overtime

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by writing irish, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    Last shop where I worked, we ("we" being salaried employees) were compensated for overtime. It wasn't much — it worked out to being less than what we normally made were you to break it down hourly — but it was nice to be compensated. The best thing about it was that it gave the company reason to keep our fucking hours down. If I had no work to do, I bailed early and no one gave me shit. They knew I had plenty of work to do that night.

    Here, us salaried types get no overtime no matter how much we work. I'm aware that certain professional positions are exempt from overtime. But I don't know shit past that. Is this law federal or does it go by state? What do you have to do to be exempt from overtime? I've heard that if you supervise more than three (or at least three?) people then you are not entitled to overtime. I've also heard that certain technically skilled professionals are not entitled to overtime...although perhaps more so in fields like computers or engineering rather than journalism.

    Any of you shop stewards or amateur lawyers know the low-down on this? I'd do the research myself, but I'm too busy working uncompensated overtime.
  2. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty sure the labor laws vary by state. In mine, if you supervise two or more people, you're considered managment and they can pay you a salary (the terms here are "exempt" and "non-exempt" but I get confused on which applies to which). Anyhow, there have been a couple of papers in my state busted for abusing newsroom staffers this way. I considered turning in one of my own shops, but didn't, thinking that if I did, I'd be black-balled or branded as lazy. My only thought was what would be said when that paper was called for references. Wish I realized then what I know now -- the paper can't or shouldn't have it both ways. They shouldn't be allowed to make decisions about you based on business interests and not have you approach your life the same way. I walked out of there with them owing me something like $2,000 in unpaid overtime. If you fall in the overtime category and they aren't willing to pay it, then you need to make it clear that when you get to 40, you're out the door. Just make damn sure it's a productive 40.
  3. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    In most states, it's illegal for a former or current employer to say something negative about you that would stop you from getting another job.
  4. thegrifter

    thegrifter Member

    so how many hours can they work you when you're management. there has to be a cap on that shit.
  5. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    yeah, they cap it when they close the lid on your coffin.
  6. accguy

    accguy Member

    It's real simple. If you're exempt, you're their bitch and they don't have to pay you a dime extra.
  7. Crimson Tide

    Crimson Tide Member

    This is a sensative topic to me.

    My wife until recently worked as a circulation district manager (she contracted carrier routes, etc.). If people dumped routes, it was her job to deliver papers until she could contract another carrier. When she was responsible for half of the city, it wasn't too bad. But when they redistricted the area so that the city was one district, it doubled her work and she couldn't keep up. She was constantly working 70+ hours per week and went into the office seven days per week. However, my wife is a diabetic. Because of the near-constant work, irregular hours and eating schedule, after a few months of the doubled work load, she collapsed at work one night and almost went into shock. She has since taken another job.

    No job is worth working yourself to death. Management doen't care.

    As for me, I put in 40 and go home. I use my time wisely and budget it so I don't run out of hours on Friday night. If that's considered lazy, then so be it.
  8. Bob_Jelloneck

    Bob_Jelloneck Member

    I would have fired her for lying down on the job.

  9. pallister

    pallister Guest

    Salaried employment is not for everyone. If you're not willing to make the sacrfiice to go "uncompensated" for overtime, then don't accept a salaried position.

    You can make a very good living without doing so; however, if you want to move into management as part of you career trajectory, becoming a salaried employee is a huge part of the tradeoff.

    There are times when I wish I wasn't on salary, but there also are times I'm glad I am.

    Sure, many companies will try to take advantage of salaried employees, and I used to be Exhibit A of that. But there are ways to be compensated for your time and effort.
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Not that it would necessarily stop them, you know.
  11. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    Of course it is Hank, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. This was a mom-and-pop paper whose publisher felt he was bulletproof. He could and basically did do any damn thing he pleased. I had no trouble imagining him saying, "You know, that Novelist Wannabe did some good work, but he spent a lot of time counting his hours ..."
  12. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    No need for quotes around uncompensated. It's not "uncompensated." It's uncompensated.

    Also, it is possible to be both salaried and paid for overtime. In fact, in some cases, it's the law.
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